He Is Coming!
Jews, in the first century, were primed and ready for the coming of the Messiah. The New Testament begins with the triumphal annunciation that, indeed, he is here. While Matthew and Luke gives the details of the virgin birth and the babe in a manger, John ops for a more theological approach.
John 1:1-2, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent, a time of
*Expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas… For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
In the past two weeks we have studied Israel’s longing for the Messiah. We learned that the Old Testament told a story that was left unfinished at the ending of Malachi. Israel longed for the victorious return of her God, true release from exile, and the Davidic King, the Messiah, who would usher in God’s Kingdom and eradicate all evil and injustice. However, at the end of the O.T. none of this had happened – until Jesus was born.
Last week we examined Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2 from the perspective of the political intrigue and messianic fervor that gripped the Jewish people. It was into this setting that Jesus was born. Strangely, though, John had this to say about his coming,
John 1:10-12 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–.
Jesus was not the Messiah the Jews expected. They wanted a military leader, but he destroyed the power of evil and sin by his suffering and death. Their rejection, however, introduced the gospel to the Gentiles. Now, ALL, Jew and Gentile alike, can be God’s children through faith in Jesus. Moreover, Jesus’ resurrection continued God’s plan to create a new humanity; his ascension to the right hand of God inaugurated his rule over a restored creation. This rule will be fully consummated when he comes again.
I’ll say more in my lesson.
Have a Great Week! Joey